Afghanistan team wins Purdue Agriculture award
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University team helping Afghanistan build its agricultural economy by rebuilding its agricultural universities has received the Purdue Agriculture 2011 Team Award.
The annual award, presented Wednesday (April 27), recognizes interdisciplinary team achievements of Purdue faculty and staff.
"This is important work in a very challenging area of the world and represents our learning, discovery and engagement missions at their best," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture. "This award is testimony to the team's dedication to helping Afghanistan build a strong agricultural economy for its people."
Purdue efforts in Afghanistan began in 2002. As the efforts grew, the team, composed of six members of five Purdue departments, formed to support Purdue's work in improving the country's capacity to develop its agricultural education.
In 2006, Purdue obtained $7 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development to establish the Advancing Afghan Agriculture Alliance, known as A4, primarily in redeveloping colleges of agriculture in Kabul, Balkh, Herat and Nangarhar.
This month, Purdue received an award of $32 million from USAID for the Strengthening Afghan Agriculture Faculties program to establish a new consortium of universities to continue and expand the work initiated under A4.
Among its work, the team provides master's-level education for Afghan junior faculty to help them develop teaching and research skills. Expanding Purdue's engagement, the team now identifies faculty who travel to Afghanistan to conduct workshops on curriculum development and Extension methods at Afghan agricultural colleges and the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
The team also supports applied education on Afghan agriculture for Indiana National Guard Agribusiness Development Team members deploying to Afghanistan. Team members also have introduced an undergraduate honors course that examines the interaction of cultural, economic, history, and domestic and regional politics development.
Purdue's work is critical support for U.S. efforts to build a stable Afghanistan with functioning government institutions and a growing economy. The education capacity Purdue is building provides young Afghans with the technical and leadership skills to develop Afghanistan's agricultural economy and supporting institutions.
Kevin T. McNamara, head of Purdue's Afghanistan efforts, credited the support of faculty and staff of Purdue Agriculture and across campus for the team's success.
"When we have needed help, people have not hesitated to contribute," said McNamara, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and assistant director of Purdue's International Programs in Agriculture "Purdue is really having an impact in Afghanistan because of the cooperation and support of everyone here. University faculty and students benefit directly from efforts from the education they receive."
Other team members are Rick Foster, professor in the Department of Entomology; Ned Kalb, chief of party and a staff member of IPIA; Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer, associate dean of Purdue Agriculture and director of IPIA; Jerry Peters, professor in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education; and George Van Scoyoc, a professor in the Department of Agronomy.
More than 70 other faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture have been involved in the project.
The team will receive $10,000 to invest in the project.
Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Jay Akridge, 765-494-8391, email@example.com
Kevin T. McNamara, 765 494-4236, firstname.lastname@example.org
Purdue Afghanistan Program